Friday, September 08, 2017

BOGged Down

How do you destroy a great educational institution?

One 28-member Board of Governors at a time, when it's packed with political hardliners and hacks who care more about ideological posturing than they do about education.

UNC BOG meeting yesterday.
Spellings is 2nd from right.
Photo Julia Wall, News&Observer
The University of North Carolina Board of Governors met yesterday, and a radical majority of right-wing Republican members -- almost all the members are Republican -- pushed through surprise resolutions that had not been shared in advance. The thrust of those resolutions was clearly aimed at undermining the authority of UNC System President Margaret Spellings, who was just appointed in 2015 (amid plenty of controversy).

Jane Stancill captured the action yesterday for the News&Observer.

Among the most destructive decisions was the vote to prohibit the UNC School of Law's Center for Civil Rights from pursuing legal remedies for low-income and minority groups or for individual citizens. As a result, the Center will close and pursue its activities elsewhere. The Center was funded entirely by outside contributions anyway. The BOG isn't saving money by smashing the Civil Rights Center; it's merely signaling its political hostility to equal rights.

It's the old Confederacy reasserting itself, and that plantation mentality appears to be at heart the animus toward President Margaret Spellings. When the statue of Confederate symbol "Silent Sam" was becoming a flashpoint on campus, Spellings reached out to Governor Roy Cooper for advice and help in keeping order. The Republican hardliners, who intend to keep the sacred flame of the slaveholding South burning bright, were deeply offended. These 15 members of the BOG, which includes several hard-right former members of the General Assembly, signed a sharp letter of warning to Spellings:
Harry Smith
Jim Holmes
Marty Kotis
David Powers
Alex Mitchell
Philip Byers
Mike Williford
Thom Goolsby
Pearl Burris-Floyd
Wendy Murphy
Bob Rucho
Randy Ramsey
Kellie Blue
Tom Fetzer
Bill Webb
The cabbage worms are eating the cabbage from the inside out.

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